Y – Table: metaphors as an essential means of structuring concepts
Design Research Studio
Y - Table
Design inquiry entails uncovering signs that enrich meaningful experience. Such signs often appear in the form of metaphors that guide investigations about dominant properties and those that might remain latent. For the Y - Table, the interaction of organicist and mechanist metaphoric domains, assists in the revelation of latent properties. The domains are investigated through the melding of formal studies with materials and technological applications. Inspired by the study of rudimentary structures and forms, the “split” legs and the oval tabletop define a dual condition expressed in the structural tension of the legs and the more stable repose of the top. The encounter and physical connection of the two material forms and their inherently different manufacturing processes can draw out conflict, albeit discretely. These differences help one to infer meanings between the metaphoric domains, building awareness and intentionality into the visual expression. The reconciliation of those differences appears at the joint encounter between legs and top. The top thickens to accommodate the fastening plates of the legs, only to taper in the space between. The implication for design is that metaphor is more than a trope, a mere figure of thought to be translated into visual work. Instead, we use metaphors as an essential means of structuring concepts in a never-ending process of interpretation and understanding. They can enable one to experience the fullness of the world, including delight that the piece might bring into the space of built environments.
The wood is sourced locally. Planks are cut and then acclimated to the shop environment. Once fitted and glued, a Computer Numeric Control router for computer-aided manufacturing is used to shape the wood top. A Computer Numeric Control router for computer-aided manufacturing is also used for the joint construction of the stainless-steel legs. Each detail in the leg and the joining of leg to top highlights the respective roles of each technological application. The table model in this presentation is for dining or work. The table's oval top seats six, with larger versions which could seat eight or ten. The low table version presents an alternative version for living room and office waiting areas. The concept is similar, but with half-spherical feet on the shorter legs. The table was manufactured by the designer.
Slide1,7: Kevin Davey; All other images by John Sandell
John Sandell is an architect and an Associate Professor at the Florida Atlantic University School of Architecture. Prior to opening his practice, he worked with renowned architects and designers including Ettore Sottsass Jr. (Milan), Cristiano Toraldo di Francia (Florence), Robert Obrist (St. Moritz), and Aldo Rossi (Milan). The above work environments enhanced his background of diverse design philosophies and introduced him to a wide scope of project types and scales. He has collaborated on many prize-winning mixed-use, institutional, and urban design projects in Switzerland and Italy, and completed interiors and single-family residential projects in Italy and the United States. He has exhibited and published nationally and internationally including at the Venice Biennial, and has won several design awards from the American Institute of Architects. He currently engages in projects that range from furniture and residences, to pedestrian streets and urban spaces.